Greg jabbed Jeff’s third shoulder, though he made sure he didn’t hit hard enough to capsize the snack bucket. Jeff would make him pay if he did. “Quit hoggin’ the candy. Trailer’s almost over.”
Jeff took his mouth out of his food long enough to ask, “What kind you want?”
“You know. A softy.”
“Liar! I know you ain’t drunk ’em all yet.”
Jeff shrugged all his shoulders and relented. “Here.”
We listen to the spidersong. The spiders are far away, just at the edge of our senses, whispering a haunting and beautiful melody into our minds. The grown-ups are oblivious, as always. They are having several conversations at once around the campfire, laughing and gossiping. It’s a nuisance because we can’t enjoy the spidersong nearly as well, not with all the distraction. We use a reliable trick — we have Sheila ask for a story…
“What I don’t like about it,” said Cliffe, “is that is it’s just a metaphor instead of something real.”
“What if it was real?” I (Sam) asked. “What if it was me and I actually turned into a cockroach someday?”
This episode of the Drabblecast is all about crazy relationships. In the drabble, it’s apparent that finding Mr. Right is difficult no matter who (or what) you are. In the feature, Sam wakes up one day to discover he has been transformed into a giant cockroach. He spends the rest of his day on a surreal quest, not only to return to his normal self, but also to save his girlfriend from threats both mundane and extraordinary, with the hope a new start together.
We bought our first yarn baby at a garage sale. The ends of its arms were frayed and its eye buttons dangled loose on bare threads.
This theme of this episode of the Drabblecast is family unties: Nontraditional homes and family situations. In the drabble, the enterprising resident of a haunted house fools its ghosts into performing everyday domestic tasks. In Divorce in the House of Flies, a young boy has to deal with his parents’ divorce at the same time he has to deal with their transformation into human-shaped masses of tiny insects. In Wendigo Bake Sale, residents of a small town overcome their initial terror of a pair of wendigo participating in the school bake sale, only to be frightened anew when the wendigo reveal they are supporting the school because their child attends. In Knit, after losing their first yarn baby during her rebellious teen years in a tragic unraveling accident, a couple tries vainly to reconstruct her from the scraps of yarn, stuffing, and buttons left behind.
The six of them meet for the first time in front of the sagging clapboard house where Everett Montrose was born. All are tired, with hollows under their eyes from driving or riding buses for days. Even so, they greet each other with shy, relieved smiles. Few words are said; most seem unsure of how to speak to each other. There are some handshakes, even a quick hug or two, but these interactions are awkward and all soon turn their attention to their reason for coming here. They all carry with them small pieces of Everett Montrose, and all instinctively touch the fragments as they look to the house.
This episode of the Drabblecast opens with an announcement that the Kickstarter goal for Norm’s new CD has been reached. The theme of the trifecta is Southern justice. In Whit Carlson’s Trespasser, chronic bellyacher Whit Carlson makes a complaint to the sheriff about a clown fishing on his property. In The Six Pieces of Everett Montrose, six strangers meet in front of the house where Everett Montrose was born and where his brother still lives. Each has been compelled to return the bone fragment he or she has found. In Boll Weevil, a man drives home through a plague of boll weevils to face the end of the world. Whether they are a bioweapon, a biblical plague, or aliens, the boll weevils have survived the winter and started breeding wildly, injecting their babies into people with each bite. After containment and quarantine have failed to stop them, a scorched earth policy is about to be enacted. The episode concludes with a bit by Hearty White reading a poetry submission rejection letter.
“Are these fiddlebacks ferns mommy?” Cindy asked. Fiddlehead honey. Margery said absently. “Fiddlebacks are nasty spiders.” It was only later that she would realize Cindy, for once in her vacuous, Barbie obsessed life, was right.”
The first episode of Women and Alien’s month 2011 featuring three stories, each exploring nasty, insectile alien menaces. Fiddleback Ferns, a space infestation sends a mother to her breaking point. Killipedes, a dark, humorous tale where a doctor breaks down a patient’s nasty parasitical infection. In The Difficulties of Evolution, a mournful parent contemplates her child’s anthropomorphic metamorphosis.
Kelly Lester, a soft-spoken, unassuming young girl, with lovely sparkling green eyes and a smile that seemed fresh-born each time she used it. I fell in love with her the day she started here, and I convinced myself she’d never have anything to do with me the day after.
Of course, I was not all-knowing at the time…
This episode of the Drabblecast begins with a Drabblenews segment on mind-controlled zombie fire ants in Texas. The drabble is yet another end-of-the world story (geez guys, lighten up!) about a man from Omaha, Nebraska toasting to his emanate demise as he’s missing a scheduled IRS audit, so really, is it that bad? The feature introduces us to a young man who knows everything. Not a smart ass – a man who literally everything. Does he use it for love or profit? And is there such a thing as knowing too much?
The wicked witch business wasn’t what it used to be. It had been such a simple thing, to lure children with candy; back in the old days when candy had been hard to come by…
In this episode’s Drabble, a moth eloquently expresses her attraction to a bright light and her own subsequent destruction. The feature story, The Wicked Witch Looks at 40 (Decades), follows Winnie the witch through her (long overdue) midlife crisis. After a particularly discouraging Halloween, where not a single child is captured, she takes the advice of an article in Martha Stewart Living magazine, changing her house and her lifestyle.
“How often does it do that?” the faun asked.
“Most of the time. The poor thing’s totally neglected. They never speak to it or interact with it– except for when the kids are throwing rocks at it…”
This episode of the Drabblecast begins with a Drabble News story about an employee finding a Brazilian wandering spider in the bananas at a Whole Foods in Oklahoma. In the Drabble, a little girl plays hide and seek with her friend, Rex. T-Rex. In the feature story, The Alchemical Automaton Blues, the good intentions of a kind-hearted couple concerned for the welfare of their ogre neighbor’s badly neglected and constantly crying guard golem have unexpected and disheartening consequences for the creature in question.
She’d been hunting full-grown pies for four years now. The little hand-held fruit pies were for kids– the preservatives made them slow and stupid– but pies in the wild, they were the true treasure, they had formed the culture of her people…
This episode of the Drabblecast features two pie-themed stories set in one fantasy world. In The Blueberry Pie, successfully slaying the titular food item stands as the first rite of passage for a child wishing to officially join the tribe of the pie hunters. One young pie hunter cannot ignore the allure of hunting a crusted, culinary legend. In The Last of the Pie Hunters, a peaceful gardener gives care and compassion to a battered warrior in the war between the pie hunters and the cake eaters.
Snuffles’ cave was a marvelous place. It was where his glowing rock lived…
The Mega-Beast Death-Match finals are announced. Stories detail mutants and things that aren’t what they appear to be. The Drabble describes the twitchy, secret side of a husband. The feature is a story of nature in the extreme. A mutant badger? Havoc? Drabblecast goodness! Feedback is for episode 77 “Permanent Detention” and episode 78 “Panel Discussion.”
“But Dad, he scares me….”
“I don’t care if he’s got three eyes and tentacles. He’s your teacher and you need to pass his class. Case closed…”
High school horrors delight us in this episode. In the news, we learn that Bigfoot is dead, if he was ever alive, which he might not have been, so he might not be dead! Feedback from Exit by Jeff Carlson and All In by Peter Atwood.
We’re lying in the sun, letting our wings dry, when a thought suddenly occurs to me. “Do you think it’s fair” “What’s that?” says Bob. He’s sitting there beside me, fat and lazy, with his three tales flickering lightly in the spring breeze.
The fourth of the Drabblecast’s Trifecta episodes gives us three different views of the beginnings and endings of life. In “Ephemeroptera’s Lament,” mayflies look for love in their one-day life cycle. In “The Crack in the Cosmic Egg,” B.J. Harrison of “The Classic Tales Podcast” reads us a story of the end, and beginning, of everything. “No Strings Attached,” read by Steve Eley from Escape Pod, shows us the beginnings of a man’s new life. The show concludes with one of Norm Sherman’s original bbardle songs, “75 Lines,” a catchy tune referencing each of the first 75 episodes of The Drabblecast.
“What have you got there, Dell?” Lars twisted his hand painfully to get a look at the ring. “Where did you find that?…”
Norm introduces all and sundry to his latest favorite, real-life monster animal: the four-inch “Giant Water Bug,” which sucks out its prey’s innards. It can fly and also play dead in order to sucker unwitting prey. The author of the feature story has been published in “Art and Prose,” among other places. A desperate sex slave’s world changes with an unexpected gift and a magical means of escape. Feedback for Episode #41, “Set Another Place at the Table, I’m Bringing My Pimple,” was mixed, and often rather disgusting, like the story itself. Norm reminds the listeners that voting for “People’s Choice” and the contest for “Nigerian Scam Spam” remain open.
The Tehtix move so damn fast – scientists can’t ever keep up… and populations never know what hit them…
In a mind-bending tale of parasitic worms, intelligent wasps and a symbiotic virus, author J. Alan Pierce describes an unusual alien invasion that preserves its victims forever. The story connects themes of dreams and communication. Mr. Pierce had previously written Episode #18, “The One that Got Away.” Finally, Drabble News recounts the story of an alleged alien virus, arising from a meteor falling in Andes. A real-life story of contamination in the same region as the feature story co-incidence or premonition? Feedback #34, “The Suit,” rounded out the episode.
He kept them in jars in his garage. Row after row of mayonnaise jars, each one containing a small, shiny blob of instant death….
In its tenth episode, the Drabblecast presents Lance Arthur’s story ‘A Little Black Death’ – a spider story, not recommended for the squeamish. Norm encourages listeners to vote in the Super Animal Deathmatch, and to take advantage of the new comment feature of the site.